Five Things We Can Do Today

January 14, 2014

This time of year has a way of making us look at our lives and think about how we want to change things.  It’s easy to make lists of resolutions – does anyone ever NOT write “exercise more” on theirs?  (I think I’ve just made a resolution to exercise so much this year that next year I have to make a resolution to exercise less. Wait. No. Never mind.)

Often we start our years with grand lists of to-dos, all such big things that soon we’re running out of steam and falling off every wagon imaginable.  I’m not so good at grand schemes, to be honest.  Just look at my past resolutions of “losing 20 pounds” and “send a handwritten letter every week.”  I was pumped and then…well…life happened.

I’m horrible at responding to text messages and emails.  I know.  I’m one of those people, and I’m so sorry.  I often read them and make a mental note to respond “when I have more time”, but my brain is a sieve, and my mental notes are useless.  Thankfully, people give me a lot of grace because I have two small children – how many more years can I use them as an excuse?  2? 5? 18?

So, what I’ve been finding useful is trying to do things the minute I think of them.  It’s hit and miss, so if you’re waiting for me to email you back about something, you might want to send me a reminder email, and I’ll try out this new thing, where I take action in the moment.

I’m hesitant to make grand resolutions at this point in my life, but there are a few little things I can do RIGHT NOW. Today. And I thought maybe you’d like to join me.

Shall we?

1. Pick up your phone. (Do it now.  I’ll wait.) Now, send an encouraging text to your husband, your dad, your best friend.

I just did mine (check your phone, Simon). Did you?

Ok.

2. Say a prayer. Don’t worry about me, I’m not going anywhere.

Ask God to meet you in this moment.  To give you strength for this day.

3. While you’re at it, ask Him to meet someone else, too.  I’m going to pray for my friend Sarah, whose baby won’t sleep.  Who are you praying for?

4. Buy someone a coffee. Or a flower. Got a spare $2?  Don’t lie to me.  I know you do.  When you’re in the line at Starbucks (or the Italian shop, if you’re me), go ahead and pay for the person behind you.  Or pick it up and drop it by a friend’s house on your way home.

5. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, and write a thank you note.  It doesn’t have to be a novel. Just a simple note of gratitude for someone who’s done something that’s made a difference to you.  Me?  I’m going to write a note to Adlai’s pre-school teacher, because I’ve been thinking about how priceless it is to me that I can drop him off somewhere for five hours every week where I know he’s happy and safe and she’s engaged with him.

Need a bit of inspiration?  Watch this:

Ahh.  I just did all of those things (except for the coffee, but I’ll do it when I pick Adlai up from pre-school, right after I drop off my thank-you note), and it took me less than 10 minutes.

They’re not grand gestures, but I think they’re significant, anyway.

Let me know what you do today in the comments: who you’re praying for, who you bought a coffee for, who you’re writing your note to.

Let’s get busy!

9 responses to “Five Things We Can Do Today”

  1. gmtnunez says:

    This is so lovely! I just sent a text message to my brother, who is helping to lead a retreat at his high school this week. Blessings to you in your new year!

  2. Viki says:

    I text a friend encouragement for the working week (it’s only Tuesday, but for me already feels like it should be Friday).
    I prayed for my uncle who lost his wife just after Christmas.
    I’m going to buy my colleague lunch tomorrow, I know she’s struggling with finances this month.
    I’m going to write and thank another colleague who just left the organisation for the support she gave me over the last two years.
    And finally, that video made me cry, buckets. Xx

  3. Debbie McDuffie says:

    Loved this, Faith!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Audrey says:

    I honestly haven’t prayed in weeks… but your post today hit the spot. And breaking it down like this makes it feel so much less overwhelming.

    So here are my answers.

    I just texted my dad to thank him for being there for me last night (during my huge sobfest re: upcoming divorce) and always. Pretty sure he’s balling right now (he has a sensitive heart, like me.)

    I prayed for my pregnant best friend (she’s wiped out) and the health of her growing unborn child. Watching her pregnancy is hard, but I pray that she never has to go through what I did and that baby is strong and healthy.

    I’m riding with a friend to Georgia this weekend. I’ll buy her coffee on the way!

    And the thank-you note… to a roller derby teammate who has taken so much time out of her own practice hours to work with me on my speed and endurance on my skates.

  5. Michelle says:

    Love this! So true, sometimes the smallest gestures can have the greatest impact. Here’s my answers…

    I texted a friend to wish her well for an intense week at work.

    I prayed for my cousin and a networking contact who both passed away over the last few days, and for a former baby client who passed away tragically last year, but whose funeral only took place today.

    I plan to treat my husband to a posh coffee this weekend, after a pretty full-on week of very little sleep! #GotToddler

    And I’ve just written and packaged up 20+ thank you notes to kind friends and family who sent gifts for our son for his Christmas and Birthday. I’ve made a plan to send more handwritten notes of gratitude in 2014.

  6. I just discovered your blog and I love it! I text my best friend, who is struggling with wedding planning and in-laws, some encouragement and she told me it was just what she needed and sparked a huge chat and catch-up (we haven’t spoken for a while). So thank you! for giving me that encouragement to spark something great 🙂 Have an amazing week!

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